Quirimbas reefs as a refuge for coral species vulnerable to global warming

The recent study by McClanahan and Muthiga revealed the discovery of refuges in northern Mozambique that allow coral species threatened by global warming to adapt to changing conditions.

Currently, nature conservation involves finding places/refuges with environmental and biodiversity characteristics that promote the adaptation and persistence of species that are subject to rapid/abrupt climate changes.

The recent study by McClanahan and Muthiga revealed the discovery of refuges in northern Mozambique that allow coral species threatened by global warming to adapt to changing conditions.

Northern Mozambique and Quirimbas Islands have a huge diversity of coral reefs and although their potential for expansion is limited geologically and oceanographically they have environmental variability and a huge variety of refuges that increase the potential for adaptation to rapid climatic changes . This region offers two types of refuge for vulnerable coral species. A type of refuge where temperature variation occurs, following a slow gradient from hot to cold but without extreme temperatures, which allows the adaptation and prospection of a range of coral species and a second refuge found in colder and deeper waters, but with a full spectrum of light conditions, which allows the occupancy of a diversity of coral species in these deep zones.

It is important to point out that the existence of these refuges is not immune to climate change and to the impact caused by man. These refuges will only be an ecologically safe space if they are protected. The Quirimbas National Park, as well as other protected areas, does not follow an effective monitoring program, lacking fiscal and resources to enforce laws against overfishing.

Thus, studies such as those carried out by McClanahan and Muthiga are extremely relevant because they emphasize the importance of marine resources such as coral refuges and call for the sensitization of governmental and international organizations to the existence of more conservation resources and protection efforts.

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